Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Oracle Sues Google For Infringing Java Patents

Comments Filter:
  • by ciaran_o_riordan (662132) on Friday August 13, 2010 @07:56AM (#33237368) Homepage

    There's more info on en.swpat.org at:

    It's a publicly-editable wiki; feel free to help out.

    • 6,125,447 - Protection Domains To Provide Security In A Computer System
    • 6,192,476 - Controlling Access To A Resource
    • 5,966,702 - Method And Apparatus For Preprocessing And Packaging Class Files
    • 7,426,720 - System And Method For Dynamic Preloading Of Classes Through Memory Space Cloning Of A Master Runtime System Process
    • RE38,104 - Method And Apparatus For Resolving Data References In Generate Code
    • 6,910,205 - Interpreting Functions Utilizing A Hybrid Of Virtual And Native Machine Instructions
    • 6,061,520 - Method And System for Performing Static Initialization
    • by poetmatt (793785) on Friday August 13, 2010 @08:25AM (#33237580) Journal

      the patents themselves mean pretty much nothing, (hello? Bilski scotus ruling?)and also because Java is licensed under the GPL. So unless google is breaking GPL (very unlikely), it'll be hard to get a clear picture of what is going on at all until this case moves forward.

      • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Friday August 13, 2010 @08:36AM (#33237688) Journal

        First, you seem to think the Bilski ruling said a lot more than it did: it did not invalidate software patents and only some of the justices involved even cast any doubt on the idea that they should be valid.

        The GPL is irrelevant in this case. Google's VM is not based on Sun's GPL'd code, it is an independent implementation (under a BSD-style license, as I recall). The GPL only protects derivatives of the GPL'd code from patent liability. It does not protect any other code.

        Perens seems to be unable to read the text that he quoted in his blog too. The grant there only covers complete Java 2 SE implementations. Android is not a complete J2SE implementation. But, hey, he got it on Slashdot and got paid for the ad impressions down the side...

      • by yyxx (1812612) on Friday August 13, 2010 @08:42AM (#33237724)

        and also because Java is licensed under the GPL.

        "Java" isn't licensed under the GPL. A single Java implementation, derived from Sun's proprietary source code, is licensed under the GPL. Furthermore, the patent grant applies only if you meet specific compatibility conditions, which no implementation other than Sun's meets.

        Google implemented the Java language, not its libraries, and did it by themselves. Android (and Dalvik) are licensed under a mix of Apache and GPL, but that doesn't matter; the license under which a third party implementation is released is not relevant for the patent grant.

        Google rolled their own implementation and libraries for good reason: the full Java platform would have been far too obese for Android, and embedded versions of Java aren't free at all.

        There is effectively only one Java implementation, the one controlled by Sun/Oracle. Sun killed most of the others early on with legal threats, and the few remaining ones seem to fail to meet the conditions of Sun's public patent grant.

        Anybody who writes Java software is pretty much stuck with running it on Sun/Oracle's proprietary implementation or its nominally GPL derivative. You're joined at the hip with Oracle, in the bending over kind of sense.

        • by think_nix (1467471) on Friday August 13, 2010 @09:11AM (#33238014)

          and also because Java is licensed under the GPL.

          "Java" isn't licensed under the GPL. A single Java implementation, derived from Sun's proprietary source code, is licensed under the GPL. Furthermore, the patent grant applies only if you meet specific compatibility conditions, which no implementation other than Sun's meets.

          Google implemented the Java language, not its libraries, and did it by themselves. Android (and Dalvik) are licensed under a mix of Apache and GPL, but that doesn't matter; the license under which a third party implementation is released is not relevant for the patent grant.

          Google rolled their own implementation and libraries for good reason: the full Java platform would have been far too obese for Android, and embedded versions of Java aren't free at all.

          There is effectively only one Java implementation, the one controlled by Sun/Oracle. Sun killed most of the others early on with legal threats, and the few remaining ones seem to fail to meet the conditions of Sun's public patent grant.

          Anybody who writes Java software is pretty much stuck with running it on Sun/Oracle's proprietary implementation or its nominally GPL derivative. You're joined at the hip with Oracle, in the bending over kind of sense.

          Almost but not quite , check out this interesting read: http://www.betaversion.org/~stefano/linotype/news/110/ [betaversion.org]


          So, Android uses the syntax of the Java platform (the Java “language”, if you wish, which is enough to make java programmers feel at home and IDEs to support the editing smoothly) and the java SE class library but not the Java bytecode or the Java virtual machine to execute it on the phone (and, note, Android’s implementation of the Java SE class library is, indeed, Apache Harmony’s!)

          The trick is that Google doesn’t claim that Android is a Java platform, although it can run some programs written with the Java language and against some derived version of the Java class library. Sun could prevent this if they had a patent on the standard class library, but they don’t and, even if they did, I strongly doubt it would be enforceable since Android doesn’t claim to be compatible (and in fact, could very well claim that their subset/superset is an innovation on the existing patent and challenge Sun’s position).

    • by PhrostyMcByte (589271) <phrosty@gmail.com> on Friday August 13, 2010 @09:05AM (#33237948) Homepage

      Miguel de Icaza gives a pretty good guess [tirania.org] about what's happened.

      The gist is that Sun very carefully licensed Java under the GPL with an agreement that anyone who implements Java 100%, without supersetting, would get access to the patents. Apparently Sun's embedded implementations have some special functionality not included in the GPLed version. This is where the "very carefully" bit comes in -- it means others can't implement their own embedded versions (adding that special functionality would be supersetting), and would have to license Sun's version. Their embedded implementation generates the bulk of the cash for them, and they wanted to protect that.

      Google wanted to use Java but didn't want everyone to need to license the embedded version. So they implemented their own. To get around the supersetting issue, they changed their implementation (Dalvik) to not infringe on Sun's patents -- even going so far as to change the bytecode format and implementing a Java->Dalvik bytecode translator.

      Now Sun sees everyone hopping on the Android train for all sorts of devices, and no licensing fees coming in from any of them. And they're suing.

      It sounds plausible to me but Miguel is the author of Mono, so take this with a grain of salt. He's usually the one having an argument against someone saying how everyone should use Java because Microsoft will pull the same type of stunt against Mono some day, so this must be a humorous day for him.

      • by Vectormatic (1759674) on Friday August 13, 2010 @09:33AM (#33238212)

        Now Sun sees everyone hopping on the Android train for all sorts of devices, and no licensing fees coming in from any of them. And they're suing.

        Small correction, Oracle is sueing. I personally like to think Sun was more a bunch of business/social-awkward techheads trying to stay afloat with technology, rather then the blood-sucking vampires that run Oracle's legal/licensing department.

        Ellison, much like balmer has an air of megalomania about him...

      • by makomk (752139) on Friday August 13, 2010 @09:41AM (#33238350) Journal

        Except that, as it happens, that's not quite right. Sun's license only prohibits supersetting by adding functionality in the java.*, javax.*, and possibly com.sun.* class heirachies. So Google could've used Sun Java but added their own Android-specific mobile functionality in com.android.* that weren't compatible with Sun's and still benefitted from the patent license. (They already did this as well as creating the Dalvik VM.) If they used .Net, they'd have to do exactly the same since Microsoft doesn't have any openly-licensed mobile or GUI APIs; this happens to actually be more risky than doing the same with Java.

        The real killer for mobile and embedded applications is probably the prohibition on subsetting. You don't want to have to include the entire .Net or Java API on a device with limited RAM...

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        Now Sun sees everyone hopping on the Android train for all sorts of devices, and no licensing fees coming in from any of them. And they're suing.

        Actually Sun's grievances go way back to 2007 [cnet.com] ("Sun's worried that Google Android could fracture Java".) It's just that Oracle's bite is worse than Sun's bark. Oracle see Java as probably the most important part of the Sun acquisition and it's logical they would want to protect it from fracturing as Sun did with MS in the early years. They're too big to be pushed around by Google too which sadly couldn't be said of the waning Sun.

        • by ArtDent (83554) on Friday August 13, 2010 @10:46AM (#33239792)

          Oracle see Java as probably the most important part of the Sun acquisition and it's logical they would want to protect it from fracturing as Sun did with MS in the early years

          If they don't want to see Java fracture, they should stop wasting everyone's time with JavaME -- it's been a decade now and no one has ever done anything useful with it -- and embrace whatever's in Android as the official mobile Java solution.

          The writing's on the wall.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by squiggleslash (241428)

          There's a difference between being concerned about the politics and sanity of something, and actually being against a project and suing to shut it down.

          Schwartz welcomed Android, he saw it as a positive development. Sun may have contributed to the discussion on whether certain design decisions were in the best interests of Java, but it would be unfair to link Oracle's decision to sue Google with Sun's technical grievances, just as it would to link, Germany's invasion of France during WW-I* with the previ

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by jc42 (318812)

        ... Miguel is the author of Mono, so take this with a grain of salt. He's usually the one having an argument against someone saying how everyone should use Java because Microsoft will pull the same type of stunt against Mono some day, so this must be a humorous day for him.

        Oh, I dunno. I'd wonder how many developers are looking at this and deciding to use some language other than Java until the courts tell us that it's safe to use Java again.

        Not that I expect the courts to say that. More likely, they'll s

  • by Gothmolly (148874) on Friday August 13, 2010 @07:58AM (#33237388)

    Not for MySQL (to kill) or their overpriced shitty hardware (to commoditize). They bought Sun for Java - you know how many other companies Oracle might have by the short and curlies now?

    • by Sarten-X (1102295) on Friday August 13, 2010 @08:01AM (#33237402) Homepage
      I think it was all three. Sun had a decent amount of virgin un-evil products. Oracle saw them, and had an insatiable desire to corrupt and spread malevolence.
      • Sun is to blame (Score:5, Interesting)

        by yyxx (1812612) on Friday August 13, 2010 @08:32AM (#33237642)

        It was Sun who never submitted Java to ISO or ANSI, it was Sun who created a dual-licensed Java, it was Sun who filed hundreds of patents on Java-related technologies, and it was Sun who created the limited patent grant under conditions that nobody could meet.

        And it was predictable that Sun would eventually fail and get bought by someone who might start to enforce those patents; in fact, the reason Oracle was willing to outbid everybody else was probably because they realized that these patents hadn't been placed fully into the public domain.

        I had been warning about this for years, but all the Java fanboys were arguing that Sun was the good guys, that they would never sue, and that Java was a free and open platform.

        Do your homework people: what has happened was predictable, and the evil seeds were sown by Sun itself.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by VGPowerlord (621254)

          It was Sun who never submitted Java to ISO or ANSI, it was Sun who created a dual-licensed Java, it was Sun who filed hundreds of patents on Java-related technologies, and it was Sun who created the limited patent grant under conditions that nobody could meet.

          Actually, they were going to submit to ISO... but then the complaints suddenly started coming in about being a standard from a single company. One of said complaints was from Microsoft, naturally.

          Funny how MS doesn't have that same problem when it's t

          • Re:Sun is to blame (Score:4, Interesting)

            by yyxx (1812612) on Friday August 13, 2010 @10:29AM (#33239320)

            Sun made a promise and commitment to make Java an ANSI/ISO standard and they failed to live up to that, period. As a result, the industry is stuck with a proprietary and badly designed language.

            As for the reasons, in the 90's, the industry and standards bodies were highly sympathetic to Sun; they could have gotten Java through fast track and without any changes from Microsoft. It was Sun's decision not to standardize Java, precisely because they did not want it to be an open platform.

            As for C#, yes, Microsoft didn't have much of a choice at that point: they needed a Java-like language and they couldn't use Java. What were they supposed to do?

            Sun overplayed their hand and they lost; their control of Java never translated into a sufficiently large business. If they had gone through with Java standardization in the 90's, they might even still be in business.

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by azmodean+1 (1328653)

              Sun made a promise and commitment to make Java an ANSI/ISO standard and they failed to live up to that, period. As a result, the industry is stuck with a proprietary and badly designed language.

              I disagree, Sun made a promise.(full stop)
              The industry believed them, and as a result is stuck with a proprietary and badly designed language.

              NEVER take action based on a companies "promises". Either it's a legally binding agreement, or it doesn't even belong in your decision-making process.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by devent (1627873)
          Oracle is not suing someone who's using Java. The JVM on Android is not the Sun JVM and Oracle is not suing Google because they are using a Java style syntax. How is Oracle suing Google over the Dalvik JVM going to affect the millions applications that are written with Java for the Sun Java JVM?

          You have been warning all this years that Google will be sued over patents for a Virtual Machine? In this patent minefield in the USA it's a wonder if you are not been sued over a Hello World application. I think so
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by jmerlin (1010641)
        Maybe, just maybe, Oracle hates open source projects. Buy the leading open source database.. check. Buy the company that created and owns the encumbered patents to one of the most popular open source programming languages.. check. Attack any company of any reasonable size producing commercial products with open source technology.. say.. Google.. a win would cement a victory against any company they might want to challenge.. so check.

        Oracle's products are pretty terrible with the one exception of the D
    • by cappp (1822388) on Friday August 13, 2010 @08:04AM (#33237418)

      how many other companies Oracle might have by the short and curlies now?

      None of the really hip companies, they all shave.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 13, 2010 @08:06AM (#33237434)

      Google should have bought Sun. They had all kinds of interesting projects, people, patents and research happening. Plus they also would have had the SPARC platform (not big iron, but the CMT implementations) that, given enough investment, could have paid off in the long run for their commodity datacenters.

      For 7 billion, Sun was worth it. I wonder why they just let it pass.

    • by Rhaban (987410) on Friday August 13, 2010 @08:09AM (#33237462)

      Why do you think Oracle bought Sun?

      For Solaris?

    • by FlorianMueller (801981) on Friday August 13, 2010 @08:39AM (#33237708) Homepage

      It will be hard to find out whether Oracle planned this kind of aggression when buying Sun, but it can certainly be stated that the free software/open source community hasn't benefited from the acquisition.

      There's a number of important questions that Oracle's patent attack raises [blogspot.com]:

      • Did Oracle try to resolve this amicably with Google (by way of a license deal) or is Oracle pursuing purely destructive objectives?
      • Will Google solve this patent problem in a way that the entire Android ecosystem (including the makers of Android-based phones and the authors of Android apps) will be reassured, or will Google only take care of its own risk?
      • Is Java less of an open standard now than C#? I don't really buy the argument that Oracle may only be suing because of deviations from the standards definition. This kind of patent attack is evil no matter whether Google adhere to certain specififcations or not.
      • Isn't this now the ultimate proof that the Open Invention Network doesn't really protect the Linux ecosystem from patent attacks? This is case of one OIN licensee (Oracle) suing another (Google).
      • Where are those FOSS advocates who said that Oracle's acquisition of Sun would be good for the cause and for the community? Some of them even claimed that it was important to have Oracle acquire Sun's patents. I've documented that on my blog [blogspot.com].
      • Is it perhaps time to forget about the community's favorite bogeyman and recognize that IBM, Oracle and others are a much more serious threat to FOSS at this stage?
      • How can the so-called OpenForum Europe lobby the European Union for open source/open standards when its two most powerful members, IBM and Oracle, are patent aggressors against open source, especially in interoperability contexts?

      This is a patent dispute with very wide-ranging implications.

      • by azmodean+1 (1328653) on Friday August 13, 2010 @11:07AM (#33240238)

        tl;dr summary since I got pretty long-winded: The problem is that Java was never open in the first place. Users of FOSS need to learn to decide for themselves when technologies aren't really open, and avoid using them.

        It will be hard to find out whether Oracle planned this kind of aggression when buying Sun, but it can certainly be stated that the free software/open source community hasn't benefited from the acquisition.

        There's a number of important questions that Oracle's patent attack raises:

        * Did Oracle try to resolve this amicably with Google (by way of a license deal) or is Oracle pursuing purely destructive objectives?

        Does this really matter? It would have been good for PR, but is anyone really under the illusion that Oracle wants to play nice with anyone? Personally I'd rather companies make it clear when they intend to swing around the "government-sanctioned monopolist hammer" instead of pretending that they're really quite reasonable, but that you do owe them quite a bit of money for using that technology they insisted was really open. Regarding PR, this kind of activity does put companies in my, "prone to dangerous legal demands" category, but frankly, Sun and Oracle were already both in that category.

        * Will Google solve this patent problem in a way that the entire Android ecosystem (including the makers of Android-based phones and the authors of Android apps) will be reassured, or will Google only take care of its own risk?

        Valid and important question, but as a non-Android and non-Java developer, I'm not interested in the answer.

        * Is Java less of an open standard now than C#? I don't really buy the argument that Oracle may only be suing because of deviations from the standards definition. This kind of patent attack is evil no matter whether Google adhere to certain specififcations or not.

        I wouldn't say Java is "less" open than C#. I do and always have put them in the same boat, which is "IP minefield, never develop in these environments." Also, this action changed NOTHING. Java has ALWAYS been an IP minefield just as much as C#, it's just that Sun managed to fool quite a few more people about it than Microsoft could. The only good patents are patents that are effectively neutered by PERMISSIVE patent grants. Sun's patent grant has always been a joke.

        * Isn't this now the ultimate proof that the Open Invention Network doesn't really protect the Linux ecosystem from patent attacks? This is case of one OIN licensee (Oracle) suing another (Google).

        Another interesting question, OIN's license only grants acces to patents specifically related to the Linux System [openinventionnetwork.com] as defined by OIN. After a quick look through the listing, the Java SDK itself doesn't seem to be there. There are several components that rely on Java (ant, an eclipse java compiler, a gcc Java runtime), but if those packages don't exercise the patents in question, then Oracle is acting exactly as the OIN is designed to allow them to act.

        I don't see this as a failing of OIN. The way I see it, the fact that the Java SDK isn't considered a part of the "Linux System" by OIN means that Oracle doesn't consider Java to be open, which means to me that I don't want to use or rely on Java. It's nice for PR to say things like, "OIN protects licensees from patent threats related to Linux", but if you're going to be doing business based on that assurance, you should definitely be checking the definitions and making sure that what you think is covered is actually covered.

        After putting in a bit more thought before posting, I have to say that while my previous comments are valid, your point is also valid. The "Linux Ecosystem", a more broadly defined set of software than the quite narrowly-defined "Linux System" according to OIN, is not at all fully covered

  • by Haedrian (1676506) on Friday August 13, 2010 @08:00AM (#33237396)

    Patent Minefields - helping drive innovation forward!

    • by fahrbot-bot (874524) on Friday August 13, 2010 @08:21AM (#33237546)

      Patent Minefields - helping drive innovation forward!

      Your satire is well taken. Here's an example, Rare Sharing of Data Leads to Progress on Alzheimer's [nytimes.com], that shows how much can be accomplished when everyone agrees to share and work together. Perhaps this collaboration is not perfect and the outcome not certain, but perhaps it's a start. We accomplish more when we work together.

      The key to the Alzheimer's project was an agreement as ambitious as its goal: not just to raise money, not just to do research on a vast scale, but also to share all the data, making every single finding public immediately, available to anyone with a computer anywhere in the world.

      No one would own the data. No one could submit patent applications, though private companies would ultimately profit from any drugs or imaging tests developed as a result of the effort.

      ...And the collaboration is already serving as a model for similar efforts against Parkinson's disease.

    • People will draw conclusions about Sun, Oracle and Google, about Android and Java, but this is all missing the point.

      This is about software patents, which cannot coexist with a functioning software industry.

      There are hundreds of thousands of them. No one can read them all, let alone remember them all. Not even Microsoft, Google and Oracle can do it, so they infringe thousands of patents at the end of each day of work. Even if the baby jesus came came down from heaven and granted them perfect knowledge of al

    • So don't use Java (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Daniel Phillips (238627) on Friday August 13, 2010 @11:54AM (#33241168)

      Or at least, fully support native binary apps right now, at the same time as trying to clear up Dalvik's legal situation. Java is actually an idiotic choice for mobile devices. Running on an interpreter means it uses many times the battery power to get things done compared to native apps. Just expose a native app loader so folks who want to build native apps don't have to jump through demented JNI hoops.

      Java may have its advantages - mainly, a garbage collector, which is also a disadvantage - but C++ apps run way faster, even if Java is JITted. And a JIT sucks battery life too, as well as introducing annoying, user-visible startup latency and imposing a huge memory footprint. Just take a deep breath and go native, it's the best solution for everybody.

  • by xzvf (924443) on Friday August 13, 2010 @08:05AM (#33237426)
    There are so many laws and twisty parts, that I'm sure everyone violates some law every day, it is only the lack of incarceration space and your own unimportance that keep us out of trouble. While Oracle sueing over Java is the surest way of destroying the language so people won't want to use it, at least Oracle is pulling its SCO moment against a peer like Google, and not building up a case against small companies that can't fight back.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 13, 2010 @08:06AM (#33237430)
    "PJ: Well. It's for patent and copyright infringement. And guess who is representing Oracle Morrison & Foerster and Boies Schiller. I take it the latter have decided to learn from the masters. But this is really, really sad on so many levels. Also puzzling. Since Sun released Java under the GPL, how can anyone be sued for anything like this? The complaint doesn't make that clear, saying just that Google has no license, so for sure we'll be watching this litigation. So we'll have to wait until Google answers the complaint to get a clearer picture."
    Groklaw [groklaw.net]
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by MichaelSmith (789609)

      Yeah but I think this is about non-sun implementations which use sun/oracle patented techniques.

  • by JamesP (688957)

    You're retarded

    No, really. Whose idea was that? How's that MBA called? Ok, then Google says, "ok, here's your billion dollars, go away"

    Or Google can absolutely block Oracle with its patents and other dirty tricks.

    And then MS will have a field day with this.

    Of course, Google in using Java in the first place for android, is debatable, still

    • by yyxx (1812612) on Friday August 13, 2010 @08:25AM (#33237574)

      Of course, Google in using Java in the first place for android, is debatable, still

      Google isn't really "using Java"; they are using the Java language, but almost none of the implementation or libraries.

      Why did they choose the Java language? Because they needed a safe, statically typed, garbage collected language that people had experience with and that there were tools for. There is little else out there that fits the bill (C# wasn't an option at the time they started).

      • by JamesP (688957) on Friday August 13, 2010 @08:29AM (#33237620)

        You're right, and I understand that. I have friends developing for android and they say it's a breeze.

        But not even the best solution is without faults

      • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Friday August 13, 2010 @08:43AM (#33237736) Journal

        Google isn't really "using Java"; they are using the Java language, but almost none of the implementation or libraries.

        Which is why Bruce Perens' blog entry is irrelevant. If he'd bothered to read the text that he quoted, he'd see that the patent grant only applies to complete implementations of the Java SE environment. Android uses Java-the-language but not Java-the-platform, so is not covered by the patent grant. This was intentional on the part of Sun: the aim of Java was 'write once, run anywhere' and this is not possible if various implementations have incompatible standard library implementations.

    • by kestasjk (933987) * on Friday August 13, 2010 @08:33AM (#33237656) Homepage
      • An expanding company makes Java part of their platform.
      • The short-sighted company which owns Java sues the expanding company.
      • The expanding company drops Java and carries on expanding.
      • The short-sighted company realizes its mistake too late.
  • by tebee (1280900) on Friday August 13, 2010 @08:08AM (#33237446)

    I wonder if this could be as big and as interesting(for the geek community) a fight as SCO v Novell

    There's an interesting comment on James Gosling's blog http://nighthacks.com/roller/jag/entry/the_shit_finally_hits_the [nighthacks.com]

    "Not a big surprise. During the integration meetings between Sun and Oracle where we were being grilled about the patent situation between Sun and Google, we could see the Oracle lawyer's eyes sparkle"

    And yet more money get syphoned out of the IT industry into the lawyers pockets. Sigh

  • by ledow (319597) on Friday August 13, 2010 @08:14AM (#33237486) Homepage

    God, it's like SCO & IBM again.

    Stepping on the toes of just one the world's largest corporations not enough for them?

  • Copyright too ? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Builder (103701) on Friday August 13, 2010 @08:15AM (#33237494)

    The link mentions both patent and copyright infringement. Is that accurate?

    I'm far more interested in alleged copyright violations in an open-source ecosystem than patent violations. What does it mean for other players trying to build on Java if you're going to get done for copyright infringement by doing so ?

  • by WankersRevenge (452399) on Friday August 13, 2010 @08:17AM (#33237504)
    Isn't this exactly what Stallman warned [gnu.org] when he suggested that Open Office should be forked because it used Java?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      RMS is really a great visionary but Oracle actually proves him wrong because he recently warned against Mono, DotGNU and C# because of patent concerns. I disagreed and said that those platforms are the last pieces of software against Microsoft would consider using its patents because those basically help the .NET ecosystem. More importantly, I said that other programming languages are also patent-encumbered, and I mentioned Java [blogspot.com]. That's why I thought it was wrong to single out C#.

      Oddly enough, right now --

      • by delt0r (999393)
        That patents don't have anything to do with the *language* but its implementation.
      • by diegocg (1680514) on Friday August 13, 2010 @10:19AM (#33239086)

        I think this is a proof of how dangerous is to bet your future in platforms controlled by companies like Oracle or Microsoft. I don't care if mono it's a bit safer to use, it's still dangerous if it's in the hands of a company that can change its opinion depending of what Wall Street does. I think opensource should avoid platforms "owned" by companies in some way and bet into open plataforms like python. Python could be sued for patents, but python itself will never sue anyone.

  • by NotoriousDAN (588957) <dglynch@dglyn[ ]com ['ch.' in gap]> on Friday August 13, 2010 @08:19AM (#33237534)
    The summary and article both misuse the word "grant". The quoted text is not from a patent grant but rather a patent licence (or "license" in the US). A patent grant is something issued by the government to an inventor or his employer, not something issued by a patentee to anyone else.
  • Boo Oracle (Score:2, Insightful)

    by rveldpau (1765928)
    Boo Oracle! This could spell the end for Java.
  • by John Hasler (414242) on Friday August 13, 2010 @08:21AM (#33237542) Homepage

    ...not to use Java.

  • as predicted (Score:5, Interesting)

    by yyxx (1812612) on Friday August 13, 2010 @08:22AM (#33237548)

    So much for all the people who said that Java was open, free, and not patent-encumbered. The Java patent grant [perens.com] set up conditions that you can essentially not meet unless you use Sun/Oracle's version. And the fact that Sun was going to be taken over was obvious for years. I had just hoped it was going to be IBM, who wouldn't have done this sort of thing.

    • Complete FUD (Score:3, Insightful)

      by mario_grgic (515333)
      Java is a spec and NOT an implementation. You are free to make your own implementation of the spec (IBM, Apple and many others do). So, you don't have to rely on Sun/Oracle version or implementation.

      There is only one latest version of Java (i.e. only one spec). You can be on a Java spec. committee and vote on what goes into next Java version specification, and everyone who wants to make the next version of Java (the language and JVM) has to implement all the same things agreed to be able to call it Java.

      Thi
      • by yyxx (1812612) on Friday August 13, 2010 @09:40AM (#33238344)

        Java is a spec and NOT an implementation. You are free to make your own implementation of the spec (IBM, Apple and many others do).

        IBM and Apple have not "made their own implementations"; they have licensed Sun/Oracle's implementations and created derivatives.

        You are not free to make your own implementation of the spec; you need to pass Sun's compatibility tests if you don't want to get hit by patent lawsuits because Sun hold essential patents for creating a conforming implementation.

        For years now, there has been no implementation of Java conforming to the Java spec except for those derived from Sun's source code. That's not an accident: it's pretty much impossible to meet Sun's compatibility requirements without licensing their source code.

        This would not be true if Apple cheated and did not implement some part of Java spec (which is the case with what Google did).

        Google didn't "cheat", Google implemented their own platform and runtime; they just happened to use the Java language to do it. In principle, Sun/Oracle couldn't have done anything about that: Sun doesn't hold a patent on the Java language itself. But it appears as if the Android designers may not have been careful enough to avoid all of Sun's patents.

  • If I was Google... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by zyche (784345)
    ...I would immediately make a large donation to PostgreSQL [postgresql.org] - the arch enemy for all Oracle database solutions. Just to spite them.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by tcr (39109)

      ...or appeal to the OHA members [openhandsetalliance.com] to put any relevant software patents into an arsenal to hit Oracle with. They exist to improve (and perhaps protect) the platform.
       

  • by robmv (855035) on Friday August 13, 2010 @08:48AM (#33237778)

    Just for the record: What Sun said (now Oracle still says) about reading Oracle Java source code and creating a clean room implementation: JAVA RESEARCH LICENSE FAQ Question 18 [java.net]

    18. Does the JRL prevent me from being able to create an independent open source implementation of the licensed technology?

    The JRL is not a tainting license and includes an express "residual knowledge" clause which says you're not contaminated by things you happen to remember after examining the licensed technology. The JRL allows you to use the source code for the purpose of JRL-related activities but does not prohibit you from working on an independent implementation of the technology afterwards. Obviously, if your intention is to create an "independent" implementation of the technology then it is inappropriate to actively study JRL source while working on such an implementation. It is appropriate, however, to allow some decent interval of time (e.g. two weeks) to elapse between working on a project that involves looking at some JRL source code and working on a project that involves creating an independent implementation of the same technology

    • Reading a bit further, I don't think this is relevant. Here's the only mention of patents, and it's saying there's *no* grant:

      B. Residual Rights. If You examine the Technology after accepting this License and remember anything about it later, You are not "tainted" in a way that would prevent You from creating or contributing to an independent implementation, but this License grants You no rights to Sun's copyrights or patents for use in such an implementation.

      Am I missing anything?

Aren't you glad you're not getting all the government you pay for now?

Working...